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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 9, No. 3. April 13, 1946

No Man's Land

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No Man's Land

Masculinity Replies

Dear Sir,—For some time now I have been painfully aware of a fault characteristic of many 'Varsity women. I read with interest an article in the latest edition of "Salient" decrying our New Zealand masculinity. This has provided the motivation for putting my observations to paper. I should like to point out hastily that this letter is not by way of reply: the perpetuation which we read evoked only the sneers it deserved.

I do not decry the woman who smokes or the woman who drinks; such habits show rather a pleasing disregard for convention and prim great-aunts. But I am appalled by the woman who natters.

God save me from a prattling woman! For there is no redeeming virtue in nattering. A man who gurgles in egotistical vein is at least achieving something; he is satisfying a very human urge—the urge of self-assertion. If a prattling woman attempted similar tactics she might be of some interest. But, no; she doesn't even satisfy this desire. Usually she finds after half-an-hour's beating about the bush that she has either lost her bearings or lost her man. But, damn it, she never loses her breath.

—Yours truly,

One of the Three.

* * *

Dear Sir,—I wish to lodge an objection. Is "Salient" so short of worthwhile copy that it is forced to fall back on such a brainless monstrosity as was published last week under the title of '"Trenchant Vituperation of NZ Masculinity"? Was the Editor deceived by such a blatant Fraud as this? Or is he merely fishing for protests?

Not that this protest is directed against the conclusions reached by the writer. On the contrary, it is refreshing to see such humility and self-criticism from a young man—for that the writer was such must be, obvious even to the most myopic. But to accept it as the opinion of a woman of the world, Keif-respecting or not, is simply ridiculous.

To my mind there is one paragraph that locates the writer beyond shadow of doubt. Who else but an inhabitant of Weir House would suggest that a woman of the world, however great her experimental curiosity, could endure the attentions of 86 Weir House students in order to decide that three of them had an amorous technique? That brands the article. But the whole thing is couched in terms foreign to a feminine vocabulary, and proclaims itself at every word a more than tedious hoax.


* * *

Dear Sir,—I suppose your letter-box will be stuffed full of replies from men all over the college denying this and that; but I don't want to deny anything. I just want to complain.

As an average Weir House man I have to agree we lack technique. Coming from the country we are naturally a bit shy of women. If I were to meet such a sophisticated woman as Unsigned must be, I'm sure I'd be very fascinated but not know what to do with her at all.

My complaint is about the suggestion that we should be ashamed of [unclear: not] having a technique. That callous word belongs to an attitude quite foreign to us simple fellows. We feel there are more manly things in life than love-making. What about the clean, healthy, exhilarating things such as shouting at the top of one's voice, eating an apple, or having a cold shower?

I think I can speak for most of us in this: we may be rough; but we are Men, and proud of it.

—Yours faithfully.

G. S. Bogle.

* * *

Dear Sir.—With reference to the article on Masculine Technique; "Me-thinks the lady (?) doth protest too much." But it seems that she ought to know.


Information Booklet

Dear Sir,—In view of comments on the non-appearance of the Information Booklet for Freshers, some explanation is necessary.

Material for the booklet was called for early in December. An agreement was made with the publishers that if the material was handed over by January 20 they would have it ready for distribution by February 20. By January 1, half of the reports were still outstanding and fresh contact was therefore made with all secretaries. There were several clubs who apparently did not intend to make Freshers aware of their existence.

When January 20 came reports were still missing, but as some were definitely promised, I held up the booklet a week longer. The material was finally handed over one week later, sufficient to upset the printer's schedule.

Six club reports have been reprinted from the previous year and are likely to contain inaccurate information. Students—the next time you elect a secretary, please take an intelligent interest and remember that a sense of responsibility is a desirable qualification.

—Yours faithfully.

Margaret I. McKenzie.

(For SCM Executive.)


Fine Writing For Plebs

Dear Sir,—We students are the future leaders of society and as such must realise our responsibilities. So we owe much to R.G.C. for his "Objection" in the last issue of "Salient."

As R.G.C. says, it is my duly as a writer to tell you about "the significant movement of our time." Unfortunately he seems a little hazy as to what it is and mentions "the world-wide struggle of the masses of people to whom we belong." However, these are very common phrases nowadays, and I feel sure that beneath these veiled terms he is subtly referring to the Managerial Revolution. Of course we all want a happy classless society, but only the most naive optimism would assume that because Capitalism is dying, the ideal People's State is arriving. In fact, it is obvious that control of the world is passing into the hands not of the People but, of the big Managers—the technicians and administrators in business and government. This is the significant movement of our time. Let literature express it!

Standing firmly alongside R.G.C., I say: "Tell the People!"

—Yours, etc.,

Pro Bono Publico or Panem Et. Circenses.